Nationals lead majors with three Silver Sluggers

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Photo - Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
The Nationals' Adam LaRoche, who led major league first basemen in home runs with 33, won his first Silver Slugger Award.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP The Nationals' Adam LaRoche, who led major league first basemen in home runs with 33, won his first Silver Slugger Award.
Sports,MLB,Nationals,Brian McNally

The postseason honors continue to accumulate for the Nationals, who had a major league-best three players win Silver Slugger Awards on Thursday.

First baseman Adam LaRoche, shortstop Ian Desmond and pitcher Stephen Strasburg all earned the award for the first time in their careers. It is voted upon by major league coaches and managers and given to the best offensive player at each position in the American League and the National League.

LaRoche already had earned a Gold Glove for his defensive work at first base. He hit a career-high 33 home runs, the most at that position in either league, and tied his career high with 100 RBIs. He posted an .853 OPS. Only St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig did better in the National League.

Strasburg batted .277 with four doubles and a home run in 28 starts for Washington. He led the majors in doubles and OPS (.759) by a pitcher and was second in batting average and slugging (.426).

Desmond was a Gold Glove finalist, though he didn't win it. But he earned a Silver Slugger by leading all shortstops in slugging percentage (.511), OPS (.845) and home runs (25). He batted .292 with 73 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. He also missed significant time with an oblique injury (25 games). Desmond was named an All-Star, though he didn't participate in the game because of injury.

In its previous seven years in Washington, the club had earned just three Silver Sluggers -- two of them by Ryan Zimmerman (2009, 2010). Alfonso Soriano won the other as an outfielder in 2006.

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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